When comparing Affinity Designer vs GrafX2, the Slant community recommends GrafX2 for most people. In the question“What are the best graphic design programs?” GrafX2 is ranked 5th while Affinity Designer is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose GrafX2 is:
GrafX2 is scriptable using the Lua language, which can be used to automate tasks and add new functionality to it. The script library features advanced color reduction and enhancement tools, [palette analysis](http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=76519), and much more.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro One-time purchase
Rather than a monthly subscription based model, Affinity Designer instead has a one-time fee ($49.99).
Pro Intuitive user interface
The user interface of many graphic editing software programs can often be discouraging for beginners. Affinity Designer, however, has a very well laid out and intuitive user interface with a small learning curve.
Pro Powerful artistic tools
Extensively tweakable brush types, color options...
Pro Extended slicing and export possibilities
An object can easily be transformed into a slice that can then be exported in various sizes end formats in 1 go. E.g. Export slice A as PNG 1x, 2x and 3x AND GIF 1x AND SVG.
Pro Powerful symbol managemment
Symbols can get individual property changes (color, shape, layer effects, fonts text...) while the other properties stay linked with the base symbol.
Pro Sketch Alternative (Great for Mixed OS Teams)
For those working in mixed environments that aren't 100% MacOS, you'll find devoting yourself to Sketch.app brings with it...pain. If this fits the bill for what you need feature-wise and you're in a mixed OS environment, it's a very capable replacement for Sketch.app. Note that it doesn't have all the same features, but then again it doesn't need all the same features. Short of organization differences inside the document you're working on, there shouldn't be anything you can't do with Affinity Designer that you could have with Sketch.
Pro Cross platform
Available on both Windows and MacOS
Pro SVG Support
In the era of "retina" displays, 4k UHD, 5k, and even 8k, Scalar Vector Graphics - independent vector images that can scale to any resolution without any display quality loss - are more important now than ever.
And this tool is quite capable of rendering true SVG output suitable for consumption at any display resolution (not a big bunch of rasterized bits in the document, actual paths, points, etc.).
Pro Focused vector graphics tool
Unlike some design tools, Affinity Designer isn't trying to be all things to all people. It's focused on its main area of expertise: vector graphics. That's not to say you can't use a raster image (think a photo in *.jpeg format for example), but it's not built to do much with that other than using it somewhere amidst the layers and that's about it.
Pro Integrates well with Affinity Photo
These are companion apps & switching between them is built in - Photo is a very powerful raster tool with a feature set close/better to Photoshop, it will also use some Photoshop plugins. This allows you to add-on powerful raster capabilities if you want them - put doesn't force you to.
Pro Excellent Photoshop/Illustrator import & export
Best I have seen in a non Adobe app, you can use most of the Photoshop mock-ups and templates easily. Opens most Adobe files to a level to be able to effectively use the content. Allows cross team collaboration across tool-chains.
The new version 1.5 has a very powerful feature set such as support for symbols and asset windows, as well as constraints controls and improved export options. This all adds up to an interesting alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
Pro Scriptable using Lua
GrafX2 is scriptable using the Lua language, which can be used to automate tasks and add new functionality to it. The script library features advanced color reduction and enhancement tools, palette analysis, and much more.
Pro Supports many file formats
GrafX2 supports many file formats, including the popular gif and png, but also importing and exporting from deluxe paint, degas elite, and various other editors using custom formats.
Pro Very large number of tools and effects
Pro Free, open source, and cross-platform
GrafX2 is totally free to use, copy, and modify. It's available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Haiku, AROS, MorphOS, SkyOS, Syllable, Mint, and a few more systems. Basically anything is supported by the SDL library.
Pro Palette color cycling
GraphX2 being based on older 256 bitmap software has inherited some tricks that modern pixel editors do not have . One of them being the ability to cycle color palette and produce animations and effects with it.
Pro Has a great palette tool
You can create gradients from one color to another, work in either RGB or HSL color space, save and load palettes, sort and organize palettes, and even work on "color cycling" images.
Pro Supports tileset addition and extraction
Pro Supports animations
The program has a basic support for animation using frames in newer versions. Graphics can be cloned and copied between frames and changed slightly.
See here how to animate with GrapfX2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gnq6zBZOqoM
Pro Has a customizable UI with themes support
Theme UI style can easily be changed from settings including buttons and colors.
Pro Drawing constraint mode for vintage 8bits machine
The program is able to enforce the pixel constraints of old machines (C64, ZX Spectrum, Apple II, Game Boy Color, etc.)
For example, in ZX Spectrum mode, only 2 different colors can be used in a 8x8 pixel block.
Con No plug-in architecture, so can't be tailored to specific purposes
Some applications (e.g. Sketch) have an open plug-in framework, by which the software can be extended by independent/third-party developers according to popular trends.
Con Treats all objects as filled
You can't select objects on the canvas by clicking on them, if they're surrounded by another object (like a rectangle or a frame). Designer treats all objects as filled, so if you've drawn a frame or outline or an object with a hole in it, you can't select objects within that hole directly. You have to laboriously iterate through all objects in a list until you get to the one you want. This is an extremely common situation, which cripples the entire product. Very surprising and unfortunate defect.
Con Dated look and feel
It looks like it was never supposed to be used in the modern world.
Con Lack of modern features
Some modern features that are necessary to do pixel art creation for game dev work are lacking.